While we were blessed with mild weather earlier this year, the winter chill has now firmly set in! To keep your home warm and toasty, the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (www.seai.ie) offers some handy heating tips.
- When buying heaters, make sure that they are the right size for the rooms they are to heat, and that they have thermostatic controls.
- Remember that electric heaters other than storage heaters consume electricity at the most expensive charge rate.
- Use a space or portable heater instead of the central heating, if only one room needs heating.
- Choose heaters with thermostat controls and timers.
- Turn off the heating overnight and when you are out during the day.
- Turn off the heating if you are going to be out of the house for more than a day.
- Proper control and regular maintenance of your heating system can reduce fuel consumption by 10–20%.
- If you have gas heating, turn off pilot lights during the warmer months.
- Heat bedroom areas to less than 18°C.
- 20°C is an ideal room temperature. Turning down thermostats by 1°C can reduce annual space heating energy consumption by 10% with an equivalent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
- Open fires are wasteful of energy with more than 70% of the energy going up the chimney.
- If the radiator is mounted below a window, a projecting window-board or shelf above the radiator will direct warm air into the room, reducing heat loss through the window.
- Close doors to separate heated from unheated areas of your home, and minimise the area you are heating.
Hot water heating
- Use the timer on immersion heaters. This should supply you with enough hot water as and when you need.
- Heating hot water account for 64% of energy consumption in the home; you should be thrifty in its use.
- 90% of the energy consumption of washing machines goes on heating the water. Wash clothes whenever possible in cold or cool water.